This paper outlines the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's (AIHW) assessment framework for determining the suitability of specific data sources for population health monitoring.

AIHW's Assessment Framework

When identifying potential data sources for population health monitoring, it is important to ensure they are 'fit-for-purpose'. The AIHW has developed a 3-step process to assess potential data sources for population health monitoring:

  • Step 1 collects information about the data source
  • Step 2 identifies the potential to inform key monitoring areas
  • Step 3 assesses the quality of the data, using a modified version of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Data Quality Framework (ABS 2009), to determine its 'fitness-for-purpose' by establishing its utility, strengths and limitations.

The assessment framework has been designed for use by the AIHW and others with an interest in assessing new data sources for use in population health monitoring. With adaptation, it may also have wider applications in other sectors or subject areas.

For an example of the application of the assessment framework, see the AIHW working paper Assessment of the Australian Rheumatology Association Database for national population health monitoring (AIHW 2014a).